If you want to accomplish something of value, you have to be willing to go beyond where you have gone before. The world is full of people who have settled for the comfortable status quo of existence instead of pursuing their purpose. If you are willing to press on to something new, it will take breaking outside the familiar with fresh new ideas. You can settle for mediocrity or you can press beyond what is familiar to you and be willing to face the unfamiliar. It will be a challenge and will more than likely cost you, but to remain fresh in your faith, family, and career, you have to be willing to have your life turned upside down from time to time.
Jesus talked about new and old wineskins. Author Richard Florida polled 20,000 creative professionals and gave them a choice of thirty-eight factors that motivated them to do their best. The top two factors were challenge and flexibility. Let’s look at this in reference to new and old wineskins. If we want to succeed by accomplishing the will of God, we have to be willing to be challenged and remain flexible.
The wineskins Jesus talked about were made out of freshly killed goats or lambs, and the whole animal was actually used. You had to use skins from freshly killed animals so it could stretch during the wine fermentation process. If you have ever gone through a time of change, you know that you were both challenged and stretched beyond what you had known before. It is actually a process of death and new life. One thing we can learn from this analogy that Jesus used is that new life will require sacrifice. No one likes sacrifice, but if you want to experience the new, many times there are things you have to leave behind, which will most likely require you to sacrifice something you valued in the former season.
What do you think the horseshoe maker thought when the train was invented? He did not immediately see a loss in business, but if he had foresight, he would have challenged himself to learn a new trade or at least make sure his son was prepared. The horse was not done away with, but as a mode of transportation, it was killed and replaced with a new, more reliable technology. We are constantly going through this process. Take a look in recent times. If you work for a newspaper, you can choose to hold on to that old wineskin or stir up your creativity to move into something new. Those who are willing to take the challenge to learn something new and remain flexible will have the new creative wine poured into their hearts. The reality of the times we live in is that if you don’t rise to the challenge and remain flexible, it can actually threaten your survival. Flexibility enables you to:
- Challenge previous accomplishments.
- Press beyond the familiar into the new.
- Look at things with a new perspective.
- Problem solve so that you get workable solutions.
- Keep you fresh and in front of the pack.
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